The presence and intensity of red coloration correlate with male dominance and testosterone in a variety of animal species, and even artificial red stimuli can influence dominance interactions. In humans, red stimuli are perceived as more threatening and dominant than other colors, and wearing red increases the probability of winning sporting contests. We investigated whether red clothing biases the perception of aggression and dominance outside of competitive settings, and whether red influences decoding of emotional expressions.
Diana Wiedemann, etc. Red clothing increases perceived dominance, aggression and anger
The color perception has a definite effect on the human brain perception, and that is true for each and every color. However, color red has a special ability to send the non-verbal signal to the surrounding brains. The new research suggests that men who wear red clothes send out a signal that they are angry and dominant.
For example, the idea of wearing a red tie - known as a “power tie” - is related to business or issuing a red alert. “Men may wish to think carefully about wearing red in social situations and perhaps important meetings such as job interviews,” said Diana Wiedemann from Durham University.
Being perceived as aggressive or dominant may be an advantage in some circumstances but a disadvantage in others, for example, where teamwork or trustworthiness is important.
When 50 male and 50 female volunteers were showed images of men in different colored t-shirts, they rated those wearing red as more aggressive and angry than those in blue or grey do. However, while the male volunteers also tended to consider men wearing red as “dominant”, the female volunteers did not.
“The results of the research may have parallels in nature and could provide insights into whether it is advisable to wear red in certain social situations,” added Rob Barton, professor in evolutionary anthropology who led the study.
We know some animals use red adornments to entice a mate. Skin redness in people is also linked to higher levels of testosterone and a fluctuating emotional state.
Wearing red clothes can also boost a man's chances of winning a sporting contest. The team has previously shown that wearing red can have effects in sport, promoting aggression and competitiveness within teams and intimidating opponents.
According to Professor Barton, they are currently talking to organizers of combat sports about the possibility of introducing new rules on competitors wearing red, to avoid the color being used to unfair advantage.
“Taken together, the findings suggest a clear association between the color red and perceptions of anger, possibly related to the role of facial reddening as a natural sign of anger,” the authors concluded.
However, if you are a woman, and you are preparing for the date, the sentiments should be different. When it comes to sex and women, red works at your advantage. Red lips, red lingerie, red dress. Studies show that men perceive women who wear red on dating profiles as both sexier and more open to a sexual encounter.
For man, red color is also recommended to wear in casual settings, when you are looking to impress or sweep someone off their feet. A bright red shirt makes a woman think of you as a passionate, sexy and powerful person who is adventurous and likes the limelight, whereas a slightly deeper red gives off an aura of being more cultivated and refined. An offshoot of red is the color pink. When wearing a bright pink, you are giving off signals of being sensual, wild and flirtatious whereas a lighter pink is probably more suitable for a date as you tend to come across more as romantic and compassionate.
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